Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins was hoping to make boxing history last Saturday (December 18) against Light Heavyweight champ Jean Pascal, by becoming the oldest fighter to win a significant world title. But instead, the bout ended in a draw, despite many believing B-Hop deserved a decision victory.
Since the fight, Hopkins reviewed the tape and agrees, claiming the judges robbed him of a victory that was “clearly” his.
“I knew if they could take it from me, they would and now that I have had the chance to review the fight on tape, I clearly know I won that fight,” Hopkins said in a statement. “Jean Pascal, his corner and all of the Canadians in the arena and on television know I won the fight too. The crowd was loud in the beginning, but the silence was deafening, as I dominated Pascal from the middle rounds all the way to the end of the fight.
“After the last round, Pascal went back to his corner with his head and hands down. I am sure he is still hanging his head today to think he let a 45-year old man beat him up the way I did. If I were him, I would want to redeem myself and my reputation immediately after what happened Saturday night.”
By immediately, Hopkins means a rematch … right now.
Almost 16 years to the date of Saturday night’s fight against Pascal, Hopkins received a similar verdict when he battled Segundo Mercado in December 1994 to a similar draw decision for his first-ever title challenge. The outcry from that fight led to an immediate rematch between Hopkins and Mercado, which took place less than five months from the original fight.
Hopkins hopes the same will happen with Pascal.
Complementing his argument for an immediate rematch are the statistics behind the bout: Hopkins threw a total of 445 punches, of which he landed 141 power shots, more than 50% of the 270 he threw. Pascal threw 100 less punches than Hopkins with 353 total shots, but landing only 85 of the 196 power shots he threw.
“It is crazy to think that a 45-year-old fighter like myself threw and landed more punches than this so-called young gun, the current champion and still I am not given the win,” said Hopkins. “Watch the tape. The poor guy was running scared, winded and backing up from round six and on. He seemed to just be holding on for dear life. But he knows what happen in there and he has to live with it too. The film doesn’t lie but I bet he doesn’t even watch the tape so he, and all his people around him, can tell him something other than the truth. He lost the fight.
“The whole thing is bad for boxing, bad for Pascal and especially bad for Canada. Pascal knows he should do the right thing and fight me as soon as tomorrow,” the boxer continued.
16 years earlier Hopkins got his rematch and convincingly defeated the Ecuadorian to capture his first middleweight world champion.
“If this guy has a backbone and wants to walk around with his any kind of dignity and self-worth, the only thing he can do is fight me again,” Hopkins continued. “If that was me I know that is the only way I could really live with myself.”
According to ESPN, the immediate fight against Hopkins might have to wait, due to Pascal’s contractual situation.
Pascal defeated Chad Dawson in an 11th-round technical decision in August, but their contract included a rematch clause for Dawson. But, it allowed Pascal to take an interim bout — which he did against Hopkins — before having to face Dawson again.
So, we’ll have to wait and see. Hopkins could still make the history books. That is, if Pascal retains his title in a rematch against Dawson and agrees to a rematch against Hopkins.